The New One proves Twiston-Davies' form
Nigel Twiston-Davies demonstrated the well-being of his team ahead of the jumps season proper with a double at Newton Abbot yesterday.
The New One, who had won Aintree's champion bumper on his final start of last season, was a long odds-on favourite to land the National Hunt novices' hurdle on his jumps debut and he did so in good style, winning by 26 lengths.
His relieved trainer said: "Yes, it's horrid when they are meant to win. It's not very pleasant as so many things can go wrong. I'm delighted and I couldn't fault his jumping.
"It's his first time [jumping] in public and I thought his jumping was brilliant. They don't seem to learn much in bumpers. We'll take it day by day and hopefully he'll go to the first meeting at Cheltenham. We do like to get them going before all the big guns come out."
Twiston-Davies added to his tally when Moulin De La Croix landed the extended two-mile handicap chase, with his son Sam again on board. The eight-year-old drew clear three fences from home and won by a hefty 15 lengths.
Double Ross was favourite to win the novices' chase, but the Paul Nicholls-trained Jump City found a little bit more in the closing strides to deny him a win and to get up by a neck.
Winning jockey Daryl Jacob said: "He's a lovely horse and very consistent. He's a terrific jumper and winged the last two and got the race jumping the last."
With as strong a team as ever for the months ahead, runners from Nicholls' Ditcheat stable will now be coming thick and fast as the season slowly gathers momentum.
Kayfrou just held on from Highland Park in the handicap hurdle to give Jacob a double.
The Lemonpie has been the model of consistency, winning four of his last five starts, and the Brendon Powell-trained seven-year-old made all the running in the hands of Andrew Tinkler to win the novices' handicap hurdle by four and a half lengths.
Micheal Nolan's 7lb-claim went some way to helping Southway Star shrug off top weight and win the handicap hurdle over two miles three furlongs.
Susan Gardner, from Exeter, was hopeful the seven-year-old would go well and add to the six successes she already scored, and the mare duly delivered, holding off the favourite Rime Avec Gentil in the process.
Five went in the long-distance conditional jockeys' handicap chase, and favourite backers were out of luck with Absolute Shambles always struggling to get involved at the business end of the race.
How's D Strawboss was seeking his first run under rules and under a light weight he came home a wide-margin winner under Peter Carberry, from Chandlers Cross.